Doubt: A feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
Have we gotten to the point in society that to doubt is synonymous with being wishy washy?
When was the last time we heard someone say “I’m just not sure about that; I need to think about it some more”.
Especially if it is someone who wants to be seen as knowing what they are doing.
Well, let me say right off the bat that I am someone who, for the most part, has no idea what I am doing.
I’d rather be someone who is learning and growing and changing. I’m not sure that I will ever “arrive”; rather, I’ll just keep plugging along.
Maybe the thing that makes it okay for me is that I don’t have anything that I’m uncertain about that is going to make that big of a difference either way.
But I know that there are many who have doubts about things that really are a big deal.
Some even doubt things that matter the very most.
I remember a conversation not too long ago (well, it could have been a long time ago, I’m senile and can’t quite remember yesterday!) with our kids where they expressed some frustration at what was happening at the high school.
It seemed that peer groups had morphed into more extremes instead of subtle moderations. Simply summed up, to be faithful meant that you were going gang busters and were solid about everything in your testimony.
If not, then you fell into the group that needed to be saved and, if you were lucky, became a reclamation project from these superstars who were on solid footing.
Bet you this isn’t just a high school scenario.
I’ve heard similar things about religious universities and institutes.
And yes, even in wards and neighborhoods.
It’s made me think a lot about just how much some of that doubt may be resulting from others who appear to be so sure?
Here’s a little secret I’ve discovered over the years: sometimes when someone declares so forcefully and loudly and with no room for leniency, they have doubts of their own.
Not always, but often.
But rather than all of us having doubts about different things and just subtle moderations between us, we have somehow now formed two extremes where either you doubt or you don’t. Either you know, or you are lost.
Well, I know that I don’t know everything; and I know that I am not lost and wandering without direction.
Sounds like there wouldn’t be a place for me in that proverbial high school right now, doesn’t it?
But I’m here to tell you that in fact there is a place for me.
And a place for you.
We are all trying to move through this phase to get to the next opportunity at “higher education” where things will make more sense than they do now.
It’s important to understand that it isn’t our doubts that separate us; it is what we do with them that can pull us apart.
I don’t think the question is whether or not it is okay to doubt.
The more important question would be “What do you want your doubt to lead to?”
As we work through our doubts, sometimes we will be right. Sometimes we will be really, really wrong.
That’s okay. While I’m not sure about what I don’t know, I am sure that I do know what I know.
And that gets me through the, as yet, unknown.
It can get you through too.
Don’t ever doubt it.